Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 3

I finally got to see the headache specialist today, and actually two of them. The second one was new to Mayo and was being shown the Mayo way. That's great - two heads are better than one! I really liked the docs. The male doc was the one I was scheduled to see and while he had a tough time keeping my confusing details straight he was punctual, spent more than an hour with me, took a lot of notes, asked a lot of questions and did a good exam. The female doc, the new one, was very pregnant and provided a good balance. She seemed to hear things he didn't, like about our efforts to have a baby. A good team - I'm very lucky.

He came to the correct conclusion, which is that my pain is complicated and this is not just migraines so he is sending me to other specialists. I'll see physical medicine for my neck, the women's clinic for hormones, and he wanted me to see THE oral facial pain specialist. That's right, there is just the one. Patients do not get appointments with this guy. Instead doctors make referrals and patients get added to a waiting list where they are triaged by someone in his office. Then, someday, his office will call with an appointment. It could be next week, it could be 5 years from now.

So I had to ask, "If I'm not able to get an appointment what's plan B?" His answer, "There is no plan B. He's the guy." Come on, I have no problem seeing an oral facial pain specialist instead of a maxofacial surgeon, but I don't want to wait indefinitely. Especially since I know a maxofacial surgeon will be able to read my MRI and interpret the results and deal with the issue. Can't we at least do that while we wait endlessly for this other guy? He was not budging though. He says that it could be muscular or it could be the joint and this specialist will be able to deal with either, whereas the maxofacial guy is more skeletal.

On the one had I respect that he is not willing to change his educated medical opinion on what I need. And I agree checking on the muscles is a smart move - I could very well have an issue there. However the MRI is pretty clear that there is a skeletal problem. I don't mean to fixate on this issue but it could very well be a cause of my migraines and I just don't want my time here to pass without dealing with it.

I didn't push too hard as it was clear his mind was made up. Tomorrow I'll see the internist again and can have a conversation with him about it.


  1. I'm so glad you finally saw the experts! I hope this is the start of some helpful things to come.

  2. Glad to see you're making some progress!

  3. Good luck! Hoping the facial guy (can't get a luxurious day at the spa out of my mind) helps for all the waiting!

  4. I am glad that you got in to see the doctor. Does that mean your days of showing up to wait for a cancellation are over? I really hope so! Has anyone mentioned thoracic outlet syndrome to you? I've been diagnosed with it and it kept popping into my mind when I was reading your post.
    P.S. So excited to learn that we are both in the same profession! :-)

  5. It does seem the waiting stuff is over, and to my surprise everyone has been punctual. :) Thanks for all the support! Selena, I've never heard of thoracic outlet syndrome but just looked it up on Mayo's site - it does sound like a possible that this is going on. Thanks for bringing it up! I'll mention it to physical medicine next week!